The way in which fee reductions influence legal aid criminal defence lawyer work: insights from a qualitative study

Thornton, J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7847-5696, 2019. The way in which fee reductions influence legal aid criminal defence lawyer work: insights from a qualitative study. Journal of Law and Society, 46 (4), pp. 559-585. ISSN 0263-323X

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Abstract

This article examines how fee reductions influence criminal defence lawyers’ work. Data from 29 qualitative interviews with English defence solicitors and barristers are analysed in order to understand the way in which cuts to fees paid by government for criminal legal aid work can operate to influence criminal defence lawyers’ working practices. I use game theory and Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and field to build a theoretical construct illustrating the invidious position current financial conditions place criminal legal aid lawyers in. I argue that these conditions reward and encourage perceived poor practices and values to thrive at the expense of other concerns - such as the conviction of the guilty, acquittal of the innocent, fair treatment of both victims and defendants, and value for the taxpayer. Ultimately, I argue that criminal legal aid lawyers are set up to fail by the current financial conditions within which they must work.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Law and Society
Creators: Thornton, J.
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Date: 6 November 2019
Volume: 46
Number: 4
ISSN: 0263-323X
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1111/jols.12179DOI
1071093Other
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Law School
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 28 Jun 2019 14:04
Last Modified: 11 May 2020 15:05
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/36961

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